Another military veteran was leading a white supremacist group that took part in the Aug. 12 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, during which a counter-protester was killed.
Nathan Damigo, a Marine veteran, was arrested for misdemeanor failure to obey police after being invited to speak at the rally, the Modesto Bee reported.
Damigo founded the white supremacist group Identity Evropa in early 2016, said Carla Hill, an investigator for the Anti-Defamation League.
On its website, Identity Evropa describes itself as “a generation of awakened Europeans who have discovered that we are part of the great peoples, history and civilization that flowed from the European continent.”
In April, Damigo made news after he was videotaped punching a woman in the face at a protest in Berkeley, California.
A former corporal, Damigo served in the Marine Corps from June 2004 to June 2008, deploying to Iraq twice, from August 2005 to March 2006 and from March to October 2007, according to Manpower & Reserve Affairs.
He was a light armored vehicle crewman, and his awards include the Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terror, Iraq Campaign Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
Attempts to reach Damigo were unsuccessful.
In a recorded message that he tweeted on Aug. 12, Damigo said police violated his right to peaceably assemble when they arrested him at the Charlottesville rally and that he is speaking to lawyers about a possible lawsuit.
“The more they squeeze, the more try to grab hold and shut us down, the more we slip through their fingers,” he said in the message. “This is a huge victory for us. This is uniting us in a way I don’t think we could have ever been united before.”
At least two other veterans made headlines for connection to Saturday’s rally.
James Alex Fields Jr. was arrested and charged with second-degree murder after he allegedly rammed a car into a crowd of counter-protesters and killed a woman.
Fields washed out of the Army only four months after starting basic training for “failure to meet training standards,” officials said.
Marine veteran Dillon Ulysses Hopper is the leader of the white supremacist group Vanguard America. It is unclear if he was at the rally, but many of his group’s members were.
The former staff sergeant served in the Marine Corps from July 2006 until Jan. 30 as a fire support Marine, information security technician and a recruiter, according to Manpower & Reserve Affairs.
All four military service chiefs have issued statements decrying racism in the wake of the the rally that turned bloody.
“The Army doesn’t tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred in our ranks,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley tweeted on Wednesday. “It’s against our Values and everything we’ve stood for since 1775.”
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller made clear that racism has no place in the Corps.
“Our core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment frame the way Marines live and act,” Neller tweeted on Tuesday. “Bigotry and racial extremism run contrary to these core values.”